Skip to main content

Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

See other formats

142                                    FLORA  INDICA.
rests a^e of doubtful accuracy. Umerkantak was visited many
years ago by Dr. Spilsbury, and it may be gathered from the
narrative of his visit that the reports wliich ascribe to it an
elevation of 7-8000 feet are greatly exaggerated.
tfhe climate of Ori&sa is peculiar. Influenced by the hot
plains of Northern Hindostan, the summer monsoon blows
from, the south or south-east, as in Bengal, instead of from
the south-west, which is its direction in the Carnatic. It is
therefore a sea-wind, and brings with it much humidity, which
is deposited on the outermost hills. The coast and outer ranges
are therefore extremely humid, but the valleys of the interior
are much more dry. During the winter monsoon, the great
heat of the dry plains of Nagpur and the Dckhan causes a sea-
breeze to blow, during the day at least, all along the coast of
Orissa, The hills are therefore, at this season also, damp and
humid, though the rain-fall is not great in amount. In April
and May there are occasional land-winds, before the heating
of the great Gangetic plain changes the direction of tlic south-
west monsoon. We possess no register of the rain-fall on the
mountains of Orissa, \\herc it would probably be found very
large in amount. Along the coast the fall is much less con-
siderable, being 50 inches at Kattak, and gradually diminish-
ing to the southward. At Masulipatam it is only 34 inches.
The forests which cover the slopes of the outer ranges are
very dense, and, though not equal in luxuriance or variety to
those of Malabar and Malaya, they arc richer in "foritis than
those of Mysore, many Malabar plants not found in the
Carnatic or on the Eastern Ghats recurring in these toorc
northern jungles. Thus the wild Pepper is found there abun-
dantly, with numerous Zingibwacete and Orchids, Arenga
succharifera9 and perhaps Caryota, but apparent1;' no other
palm. Species of Dillmia, Leea, Mimmops, Xtama} liox-
bvrghla, etc., also occur. The forests which cover the moun-
tains of the interior are much drier, and are separated by
open valleys, more or less under cultivation.
The botany of the coast of Otisa^ and that of the forests of